Every time you use the internet, you generate data. Whether you’re posting on social media or checking the weather, shopping on Amazon or searching Google, listening to Spotify, opening an email, sending and receiving money — we all generate 2.5 quintillions of data a day, and that wealth of data that exists in cyberspace offers untapped and possibly even unimagined possibilities for making more money.
Business analysis tools can give you powerful insights into your market and customers, but not if you don’t know how to use them properly. You can leverage streams of data from platforms your business is already using — email, telephone, and social media, for example — and use business analysis tools to pull out the trends, insights, and patterns that will help you make the best decisions for the future of your business.
Streamline Customer Relationship Management
What company doesn’t want better customer relationships? Business analysis tools can do a lot to improve your customer relationships. Look for a tool that can help you draw customer information from disparate streams into a single stream so that it can be analyzed efficiently. Use your analysis tools to look for patterns in customer behavior and generate user models that can show you what actions you can expect from typical users. There are so many business analysis tools available — it’s not hard to find one tailored to your industry and needs.
Mine Dark Data
You may not need to acquire more data from your customers in order to put your business analysis tools to work. Your company’s social media feeds, email inboxes, spreadsheets, and customer support and interaction logs contain a hidden pool of data that you probably haven’t yet tapped into. This hidden data is called dark data.
Not to worry — there’s nothing sinister about it. It’s “dark” because it hasn’t yet been brought to light. Dark data can include closed customer tickets, customer interaction logs, and information in customer profiles. Really, it’s any customer data that you’ve collected but haven’t yet used. When you really start digging into it, you may be surprised at how much data you already have, and how much you can get out of it.
Just because you haven’t yet brought your dark data into the light, doesn’t mean you can’t begin using it to your benefit at any time. Dark data may contain valuable information about customer behaviors and complaints that can help you shape stronger decisions for the future. You have so much to learn about your customer base from data that you haven’t yet examined.
Upgrade Your Marketing Strategy
Business analytics tools like machine learning and user modeling are doing a lot for all aspects of business, but they’ve made particularly large strides in the marketing arena. Thanks to deep learning algorithms, many companies are enhancing their online customer experience with chatbots that learn more about customer interaction and customer service the more they interact with customers. Chatbots can continually build on a deep learning framework, so their knowledge increases exponentially, in the same way it does for humans. With deep learning algorithms, you can afford to provide 24/7 customer service via online chat, even if you can’t afford to hire someone to sit around and answer the chat messages all night long.
Big Data has also made it easier to target customers with highly personalized ads. If you’ve ever purchased anything online, or shopping for anything online, or so much as talked about something you want to buy where your phone could hear it, you’ve been the recipient of a targeted ad. Hyper-personalized marketing campaigns can target specific customers based on factors like their location, their buying habits, and even the preferences they’ve expressed in previous interactions with the company.
Business analytics tools can do a lot for your company if you use them correctly. Deep learning and machine learning algorithms are revolutionizing the way we do business, especially in marketing and customer relationship management. The more you plumb the depths of the data you have at your disposal, the more you’ll learn about what your customers want and need — and the better equipped you’ll be to provide them with the products and services they crave.
Author | Emily Forbes
An Entrepreneur, Mother & A passionate tech writer in the technology industry!